Annapurna Sanctuary

  • Description
  • Itinerary
  • Day by day
  • Map

The Region

The Annapurna region is that north of Pokhara in Central Nepal, and includes some of the world's highest and most beautiful mountains. These include the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhre - the famous fish-tail mountain that dominates the skyline above Pokhara. In addition this area boasts the Kali Gandaki, the world's deepest gorge.

Annapurna, at 8091m, is the 10th highest mountain in the world and will be forever known as the first 8000m peak to be climbed - by Herzog's French party in 1950. The climb was an epic of Himalayan climbing and has entered mountaineering folklore.

 

Annapurna Range from Pokhara

Annapurna Range from Pokhara

 

The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

The trek into the area below the massive south face of Annapurna - known as the Annapurna Sanctuary - is one of the most popular treks in Nepal. The trek begins in Pokhara and leads up through the breathtaking Modi Khola gorge into the vast mountain ringed amphitheatre of the Sanctuary. As we trek through bamboo and rhododendron forests we have superb views of the Annapurna range. We eventually pass between the mountains of Machhapuchhre and Hiunchuli which guard the entrance to the Sanctuary, and after 6 days reach our goal, the high glacial basin that is the site of the Annapurna south face base camp.

This is a classic trek which allows access to the high mountains of the Himalaya within a reasonable timeframe and with a maximum altitude of 4000m. Accommodation and food is provided in the local lodges. Transport to and from Pokhara is by air.

 

References

'A beautiful country with amazing people, Nepal is really a magical place. I trekked to Annapurna Sanctuary with Trek Nepal and was very impressed with their organisation and their flexibility'. Inka, Germany

Outline itinerary

Day Program Altitude
1 Arrive Kathmandu, transfer from airport to hotel
1300 m
2 At leisure in Kathmandu, preparation for trek
 
3 Fly to Pokhara, transfer to hotel
 
4 Drive to Phedi, and trek to Tolka 1810 m
5 Tolka to Chhromrong
2040 m
6 Chhromrong to Bamboo Lodge
2340 m
7 Bamboo Lodge to Himalayan Hotel
2900 m
8 Himalayan Hotel to Machhapuchhre Base Camp
3720 m
9 Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp
4095 m
10 Annapurna Base Camp to Doban
2630 m
11 Doban to Chhromrong
2040 m
12 Chhromrong to Ghandruk
1065 m
13 Ghandruk to Birethanti, drive back to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara
 
14 Fly to Kathmandu
 
15 In Kathmandu  
16 Transfer from hotel to airport, fly home
 


Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Kathmandu, transfer from airport to hotel

Day 2
At leisure in Kathmandu, preparation for trek

Day 3
Fly to Pokhara, transfer to hotel

Day 4
Drive to Phedi, and trek to Tolka

We start by driving a short distance to Phedi where we begin the trek in earnest. Starting from an altitude of 1180m, we climb steeply to the ridge at Dhampus at 1750m and get our first views of the huge mountains that surround us. We continue on through a rhododendron forest to the village of Pothana, and eventually reach the small settlement of Deurali at the top of the hill at 2150m. From here we get superb views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. From here we make a steep descent on forested slopes into a side canyon of the Modi Khola, passing through the settlement of Bheri Kharka. The trail then climbs gently and emerges into the main Modi Khola valley, and finally reaches Tolka, a small settlement, at 1810m where we spend the night.

Day 5
Tolka to Chhromrong

From Tolka the trail quickly reaches the flagstone streets of Landruk, a sizeable Gurung village at 1620m. From Landruk the trail descends and crosses the river at Shiuli at 1340m before climbing steeply up to Jhinu Danda at 1750m. After a long steep climb we reach Taglung at 2180m, where the trek joins the Ghandruk to Chhomrong route. Shortly after this we reach the Gurung village of Chhomrong at 2040m, where we spend the night. Chhromrong is a large village that is spread along a huge stone staircase, which drops to the Chhromrong Khola. From Chhromrong there are tremendous views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre.

Day 6
Chhromrong to Bamboo Lodge

Leaving Chhomrong the trail descends to cross the Chhomrong Khola on a suspension bridge, then climbs high above the Modi Khola on its west bank. The trail then ascends through the villages of Tilche and Sinuwa and finally reaches Kuldi at 2350m. From here the trail descends a long, steep stone staircase into bamboo and rhododendron forests and eventually we reach the small settlement of Bamboo Lodge at 2340m, which is a collection of small hotels - none of which are made of bamboo!

Day 7
Bamboo Lodge to Himalayan Hotel

The trail continues along the west bank of the Modi Khola valley through dense bamboo forest, occasionally dropping to cross tributary streams, but ascending continuously, and reaches the settlement of Doban at 2630m where there are several good lodges. The trail then continues high above the river to our resting place for the night, the small settlement of tea-houses known as Himalayan Hotel at 2900m.

Day 8
Himalayan Hotel to Machhapuchhre Base Camp

From here it is an hour’s walk to Hinko Cave at 3160m, and a further half hour to Deorali at 3230m where there are good hotels. Above Deorali the valley widens and becomes less steep and at last we feel as if we are getting close to our goal. We can now see the “gates” to the Sanctuary. The trail continues into the Sanctuary to meet the Modi Khola and follows the river to Bagar, a meadow at 3310m.From Bagar we continue to trek upwards and eventually reach the area known as Machhapuchhre Base Camp at 3720m. This is a collection of tea-houses spread over a large area. From here the mountain views are fantastic and include Annapurna (8091m), Annapurna III (7555m), Gangapurna (7454m) and Machhapuchhre (6997m).

Day 9
Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp

We start early and make the 2 hour trek to Annapurna Base Camp at 4095m. The trail continues upwards, on a good path, to the south of the moraine. This is the highlight of the trip and affords us marvellous close up views of the mountains that make up this incredible natural amphitheatre. On arrival at ABC we get a superb view of the near vertical south face of Annapurna that towers above the Sanctuary to the north-west and which was climbed in 1970 by Don Whillans and Dougal Haston on an expedition led by Chris Bonington. We arrive at ABC mid-morning which allows ample time to explore the surrounding area and take some stunning photographs.

Day 10
Annapurna Base Camp to Doban

From the Sanctuary we initially retrace our steps, and descend to Deorali, through Himalayan Hotel, and eventually to Doban where we spend the night. We cover the ground a lot quicker on the way down taking advantage of our acclimatisation and the reducing altitude.

Day 11
Doban to Chhromrong

From Doban we continue back down the trail, through Bamboo Lodge, and eventually to Chhromrong where we spend the night. This is a short day and allows us to spend some time relaxing in this fascinating village which has some of the best mountain views in the world.

Day 12
Chhromrong to Ghandruk

Today we stop retracing our steps and trek to the Gurung village of Ghandruk. We initially walk west on the trail that leads to Ghorapani, but then descend to the village of Khumnu. We cross the Khumnu Khola and then ascend steeply to a collection of tea-houses at Uri at 2220m. From here we can see Ghandruk ahead, and it is a gentle walk to this amazing Gurung settlement at 1970m. Ghandruk is a maze of narrow alleyways but is an ideal place to spend an afternoon wandering the streets enjoying the local food or learning about the local handicrafts.

Day 13
Ghandruk to Birethanti, drive back to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara.

From Ghandruk it is a long descent to the settlement of Shauli Bazaar at 1140m, but we are now down to the Modi Khola and from here it is an easy and pleasant walk along the river bank to Birethanti at 1065m, from where we walk the short distance to the roadhead at Naya Pul. We are picked up by our transport and driven back to Pokhara. The journey by road takes approx. 2 hours and we arrive back in Pokhara by early afternoon, in time to refresh ourselves in the hotel before spending a night in Pokhara.

Day 14
Fly to Kathmandu

Day 15
In Kathmandu

Day 16
Transfer from hotel to airport, fly home



Map Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Annapurna Sanctuary Map